This doctor's shocking behavior is a reminder that mental health stigma must end now.

Samuel Bardwell had a bad anxiety attack, so his father took him to the emergency room.

Samuel was playing basketball when he noticed the signs of an impending attack. He had been prescribed an as-needed anti-anxiety medication, but he didn't have any on-hand.

And as his symptoms got worse — vomiting, loss of consciousness — it was clear he needed medical intervention.


Samuel was seeking medical help for a diagnosed condition, but the emergency room physician humiliated him.

According to Samuel's father, Donald Bardwell, when the physician walked in, she didn't introduce herself, ask what was wrong, or perform an examination — instead, she immediately began ranting about Bardwell's condition and his reasons for being there. All the while, Samuel begged her for medication.

At one point, the Bardwells say, the physician's rhetoric became racist: Donald and Samuel are black and the doctor — now identified as Beth Keegstra of El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos, California — accused them of seeking drugs. That's when the elder Bardwell began filming.

It got worse, with Keegstra swearing at Samuel, then twisting his words to claim he'd asked for "narcotics," when all he'd done was ask for something — anything — that could help him feel better.

"You [Samuel] are the least sick of all the people who are here, who are dying. So you put your head up," Keegstra can be heard saying in the video. "Don't try to tell me you can't move. Come on. Sit up."

Anxiety attacks can be incredibly scary — and reaching out for help often isn't easy.

If you've never had an anxiety attack, here's what you need to know: They can be terrifying and are almost impossible to control. One second, you can feel your heart start pumping a little faster, and the next, you're struggling to breathe and feeling you'll soon perish of a heart attack or an embolism you never knew you had.

These attacks aren't dangerous in themselves (in fact, they can't actually kill you), but in the moment, when it feels like both your mind and your body are conspiring against you, it's hard to even tell what's real anymore.

As someone who's experienced many anxiety attacks — and has been to the emergency room several times fearing legitimate heart attacks — I can tell you that there's nothing you need more than a physician who's understanding.

Keegstra was suspended after the Bardwells posted the video of her berating them, but that's only a temporary measure. If there's one thing this video makes clear, it's how difficult it can be to get help for mental illness. And that's why so many people hide it.

Those who live with mental illness already know that friends and family can be slow to understand what it's like to experience anxiety and depression. But a physician treating a patient in crisis like this is a painful reminder of why it's so hard to reach out for help.

After all, if someone whose job it is is to take care of you thinks you're faking, what's the point of speaking out?

Samuel's experience with this doctor is a reminder there's still a long way to go in mental health care.

At a time when mental illness is becoming less of a taboo topic, it's on all of us to be more kind, more compassionate, and more understanding — and to fight against stigma.

And once you watch the full video below, I think you'll agree: We need to do better.

This is how they treat black people in Los Gatos emergency room. SMH Everyone share this video. For the record this is my son.

Posted by Donald Bardwell on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Jimmy Fallon #MyFamilyIsWeird.

It’s that time of year again, the holiday season is when we get the pleasure of spending way more time than we’re used to with our families. For those of us who’ve moved away from our immediate families, the holidays are a great time to reacquaint ourselves with old traditions and to realize that some of them may be a little strange.

Every family seems to have its own brand of weirdness. In fact, I wouldn’t trust anyone who says that their family is completely normal.

On November 18, “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon gave everyone a reason to celebrate their unique families by asking them to share their favorite stories under #MyFamilyIsWeird. The responses were everything from odd holiday traditions to family members that may have a screw (or two!) loose.

Here are 17 of the funniest responses.

Keep Reading Show less
via TM on music / Twitter

This article originally appeared on 4.10.20 via The Conversation


Fifty years ago, when Paul McCartney announced he had left the Beatles, the news dashed the hopes of millions of fans, while fueling false reunion rumors that persisted well into the new decade.

In a press release on April 10, 1970 for his first solo album, "McCartney," he leaked his intention to leave. In doing so, he shocked his three bandmates.

The Beatles had symbolized the great communal spirit of the era. How could they possibly come apart?

Keep Reading Show less

Cayce LaCorte explains why virginity doesn't exist.

The concept of virginity is a very loaded issue in American culture. If a woman loses hers when she's too young she can be slut-shamed. If a man remains a virgin for too long, he can be bullied for not being manly enough.

There is also a whole slew of religious mind games associated with virginity that can give people some serious psychological problems associated with sex.

Losing one's virginity has also been blown up way beyond proportion. It's often believed that it's a magical experience—it's usually not. Or that after having sex for the first time people can really start to enjoy living life—not the case.

What if we just dropped all of the stigmas surrounding virginity and instead, replaced them with healthy attitudes toward sex and relationships?

Writer Cayce LaCorte is going viral on TikTok for the simple way she's taught her five daughters to think about virginity. They don't have to. LaCorte shared her parenting ideas on TikTok in response to mom-influencer Nevada Shareef's question: "Name something about the way you raised your kids that people think is weird but you think is healthy."

Keep Reading Show less